First Quantum Ultra Class Ship is Royal Caribbean’s Third New Ship to Homeport in Shanghai

Spectrum of the Sea arrives in Hong Kong Image: Royal Caribbean

June 4, 2019 – Spectrum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International’s newest ship, made its highly anticipated debut in China yesterday. The first Quantum Ultra Class ship sailed into Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal in Shanghai after completing a 46-night Global Odyssey that spanned 17 cities. In honour of Spectrum arriving to her new home, the cruise line held a grand naming ceremony with Chinese celebrities and Royal Caribbean brand ambassadors, Xiaoming Huang and Angelababy, in attendance. Honoured with the lifetime role of Godparents, the popular couple were on hand to name the ship and bestow a blessing of safekeeping over all those who sail on her.

            Spectrum’s historic milestone is on the heels of Royal Caribbean’s 10th anniversary in China. Building on years of success with Quantum of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas, the arrival of the largest and most expensive cruise ship in Asia will continue to raise the bar and lead the Chinese cruise industry into a new era.

“Royal Caribbean has always been known for innovating and pushing the boundaries and Spectrum of the Seas is a great example of this,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Spectrum brings to life the best of Royal Caribbean along with specifically designed and curated experiences for our Chinese consumers.”

Custom built for the Chinese market, Spectrum of the Seas features bold and unexpected experiences, including the cruise line’s first private enclave for suite guests, new stateroom categories, innovative dining concepts, and stunning features and experiences – many of which have never before been seen at sea.

Transformational Spaces

Spectrum features a two-level, 2,809-square-foot Ultimate Family Suite, accommodating up to 11 guests. The three-bedroom suite features a master bedroom and a bathroom that extends over the side of the ship for unparalleled ocean views, along with two additional suites for grandparents and other family members. Kids have their own kid-friendly space on the upper level, complete with an in-suite slide that will transport them to the living area below. Everyone in the family can enjoy time together in the recreation room, featuring surround-sound equipment for a night of karaoke, movies or video games. 

Glowing on the aft of the ship is Sky Pad, a virtual reality, bungee trampoline experience, where guests can strap in, don a virtual reality (VR) headset and be transported to another time and planet with three new games: Jump Rally, Sugar Leap and Bass Bouncer. The out-of-this-world experience is for guests of all ages and can be enjoyed without headsets, for those who prefer to look out over the ocean as they leap toward the sky.

Exclusive Suite Club

The Suite Club on decks 13 through 16 offers Royal Caribbean’s first exclusive suites-only area, which features 36 Golden Suites and 106 Silver Suites. The Golden Suites and Silver Suites have exclusive access, elevator, as well as a private restaurant and lounge. In addition to a range of amenities, Gold Suite guests may access The Balcony, a private outdoor space with the best views of the sea; and The Boutique, which can be reserved for private shopping, intimate parties and wine tastings. Travellers in suites are also provided with a dedicated team of Royal Concierges who provide excellent value-added services, including concierge services, Royal embarkation, enhanced food and beverage experiences and exclusive room service.

Diverse Dining Options

Onboard Royal Caribbean’s newest ship are 33 dining options to meet the diverse preferences of its guests. The lineup includes innovative dining concepts such as: Sichuan Red, a brand-new restaurant debuting on Spectrum that features authentic cuisine from the Sichuan province of China; a traditional tea room and café parlour known as Leaf and Bean, where guests can enjoy a range of authentic Chinese teas, classic coffee drinks as well as freshly baked Chinese and Western desserts and pastries; Teppanyaki, offering authentic oriental flavours cooked in Japan’s traditional teppanyaki style; Splashaway Café, near the kids’ pool area; and the Noodle Bar, which serves up freshly made noodles and live chef demonstrations.

Introduced on the Quantum Ultra Class, the main dining room has been combined into one awe-inspiring, three-level dining room with 1,844 seats. The complimentary venue also serves a variety of Chinese and Western a la carte options that rotate every day of an itinerary. For holiday-makers looking for a more casual dining venue, the Windjammer Marketplace on Spectrum has been designed to be 20% larger than those on Quantum Class ships. The laidback option offers a wide selection of Chinese and Western dishes.

Multidimensional Entertainment Experiences

Three new production shows developed in-house by Royal Caribbean – The Silk RoadThe Effectors and Showgirl! Past. Present. Future. are taking the stage. Each full-scale production features unrivalled talent, immersive technology and unparalleled special effects to create spectacular entertainment experiences.  The entertainment doesn’t end on stage. Spectrum offers guests a thrilling lineup of activities including Battle for Planet Z, an epic glow-in-the-dark laser tag adventure for the whole family; Star Moment, a lively and energetic karaoke venue where family and friends can sing like stars;Expedition Two70, where guests can test their adventuring skills in four fully immersive augmented reality (AR) games; SeaPlex, the multipurpose indoor sports and entertainment complex that offers activities from various parts of the world including various indoor ball games as well as fencing and archery – activities never before seen at sea in the Asia market.

Cutting-edge Technology

Spectrum of the Seas features a bold lineup of new digital experiences, from digital room keys and automated stateroom controls, to immersive AR games. The Royal Caribbean mobile app is also available for the first time for guests in China and supports both Mandarin and English language. Designed to seamlessly deliver unprecedented holiday experiences at sea, technology is prevalent throughout the ship, substantially increasing guest convenience and efficiency while offering new experiences that entertain and amaze.

Image: Royal Caribbean


From Shanghai, 4 roundtrip itineraries:

  • 7-day “Best Of Japan” (Kobe, Yokohama)
  • 5-day “Kagoshima and Okinawa” (Kagoshima, Naha)
  • 4-day “Best Of Okinawa” (to Naha)
  • 4-day “Best Of Kagoshima” (to Kagoshima)

From Hong Kong, 3 roundtrip itineraries:

  • 7-day “Japan and Philippines” (Naha, Salomague Island, Luzon Island/Subic Bay)
  • 5-day “Best Of Vietnam” (Da Nang, Nha Trang)
  • 4-day “Best Of Chan May” (to Da Nang, Vietnam)

You can find out more about Spectrum of the Seas and her 2019/2020 itineraries here:


Thank you for taking the time to read my blog

Oasis of the Seas Involved in Dry Dock Accident at Grand Bahama Shipyard

Around 18:43 local time yesterday Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas was involved in an incident after a crane collapsed on the vessel while she was at the Grand Bahama shipyard having repaired made to her azipods.

image shared online of the Oasis of the Seas listing at Grand Bahama Shipyard, April 1, 2019.

According to reports, Royal Caribbean’s 225,000-tonne Oasis of the Seas was in the shipyard’s Dry Dock No. 2 when the accident occurred, leaving at least one large crane toppled on top of the vessel and the cruise ship with a noticeable list to starboard which can been seen in photos and video posted online. It was not immediately clear whether it was the Oasis of the Seas was listing inside the dry dock, or if it was the floating dry dock that was listing.

Eight people are reported to have been injured but thankfully none were believed to be life-threatening, the Grand Bahamas Tribune reported

A video released by Bahamas Press shows the lower part of the crane against the ship hull.

Video – © Bahamas Press via YouTube.

Royal Caribbean issued the following statement shortly after the incident:

“Earlier today, we responded to a site incident at the Grand Bahama Shipyard, where Oasis of the Seas is currently in dry dock.

Shipyard management has informed us of eight injuries, none of them considered life-threatening. 

We are aware of damage to the dock structure and to the construction cranes. We are assessing damage to the ship. Drydock is a maintenance procedure and there are no guests oboard the ship.”

Grand Bahama Shipyard’s Dry Dock No. 2, at 300 meters in length by 58.5 meters wide, is the largest of three floating dry docks at the yard. The dock is equipped with four large dock cranes. The Grand Bahama Shipyard is located in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, only about 100 miles east of Miami, Florida.

Image showing the layout of shipyard (Courtesy of Grand Bahama Shipyard)

An image was later released showing the collapsed crane laying across the Aqua Theater.

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Image courtesy of RCL Unofficial Fan Club (Facebook)

Built in 2009 at STX Shipyard Turku, Finland Oasis of the Seas was the lead ship in Royal Caribbeans Oasis class. With a length of 361.6 m and at 225,282 GRT, and capacity of 6780 guests, she was the world’s largest cruise ship when launched, a title which she held until 2010 when her sister Allure of the Seas was launched.

 Royal Caribbean will issue a further statement at 5pm local time today.



Spectrum of the Seas completes her conveyance – from shipyard to sea

Yesterday Royal Caribbean’s first Quantum Ultra class ship Spectrum of the Seas left Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg (Germany) to begin her conveyance up the River Ems to Eemshaven (Netherlands). The manoeuvre originally scheduled to start on Tuesday, was delayed due to bad weather.

Spectrum of the Seas leaving basin (Meyer Werft)

The conveyance saw Spectrum of the Seas proceed in reverse up the river Ems to the North Sea. According to Meyer Werft, this has proven successful in the past as it makes it easier to manoeuvre the ship with the assistance of two tugs, while ensuring her propellers are kept in the middle of the river as she navigates the rivers tight twists and turns.

As I write Spectrum of the Seas is safely arriving in the port of Eemshaven where she will stay while preperations for her sea trials will continue. Following successful trials these she will head to Bremerhaven where final work will take place to prepare for her handover.

Designed and built specifically for the Chinese market once delivered she will head to Asia where she will offer a series of 3-4 night itineraries and home port in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

What is a conveyance?

The term conveyance is mostly associated with the property market and the process of transferring property from one owner to another, but for anyone that follows or is associated with the cruise industry it has another completely different meaning.

One of the world’s most successful cruise ship builders is Germany’s Meyer Werft, which with the delivery of Spectrum of the Seas will have built 48 cruise ships for a number of the world’s major cruise lines including AIDA, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O Cruises and Royal Caribbean. Currently the German shipbuilder has another twelve cruise ships on order seeing it through to 2023.

Spectrum of the Seas begins her conveyance (Meyer Werft)

Location, Location, Location

Unlike most of the world’s shipyards Meyer Werft is situated 32 miles inland, in the German city of Papenburg, in the district of Emsland in Lower Saxony. The inland location offers it some protection from the worst conditions of the North Sea has to offer but creates the unique problem of just how do you get a cruise ship from shipyard to ocean?

Meyer Weft Shipyard (Papenburg)

Construction of ships at Meyer Werft takes place is huge covered sheds known as “Dockhalles” the largest of which measures 504 meters long, 125 meters wide, has a height of 75 meters, and is the largest covered ship building dock in the world. This allows the yard to build up to three cruise ships a year and compete with larger Asian shipyards. Once the outer hull is completed, the ship is floated out of the hall into a basin, where work continues fitting out. The ships are floated out due to space constraints, which is less dramatic than old-fashioned way of launching a ship down the slipway into the water!

Spectrum of the Seas under construction (Meyer Werft)

Prior to the conveyance, the river is prepared which involves dredging up to 24 feet where necessary. Although Meyer Werft can manipulate water levels, using tidal barriers along the river to ensure there is enough water underneath the ship but it does this sparingly for ecological reasons. It does however, close the barriers to keep the water level at high tide, the Ems is roughly 30 feet deep, which is  just enough for Spectrum’s draft of 28 feet. With her dimensions of 348m x 49m, Spectrum is near the maximum size of ship that can be conveyed up the river and at its narrowest points, there is just a few centimetres clearance either side.

It is not just below the water that causes issues for the conveyance but above as well. Four bridges, three of which can be swung open to allow ships to pass, and the forth being a railroad bridge has to have a portion removed. Along the length of the Ems electricity cables are shut down in three locations that cross the river, this causes them to contract and rise thus allowing the ship to pass with clearance being a little as 1.8 metres.

Once ready for sea trials the conveyance up the river Ems can begin. With a distance of 32kms, the whole journey takes between ten to twelve hours and is dependent on weather conditions. A team of six river pilots from Emden are responsible for manoeuvring the ship to Eemshaven each with extensive knowledge of the river and having spent two weeks training in the conveyance using a computerized simulator in Wageningen (Netherlands). Working in teams of two for up to ninety minutes one pilot will guide the stern with the other guiding the guiding the bow. Rather than looking over the side of the ship, the pilots use a GPS navigation system accurate to within five centimetres and which provides forecasts the ships position in 30, 60 or 90 seconds if the steering course wasn’t changed. Assisting the pilots are navigation officers, the yard captain and the local German waterway authorities.


The incredible feat of engineering will happen again later this year when Norwegian Encore is delivered. So next time you are enjoying a cocktail onboard a cruise ship built in Papenburg take a moment to consider her journey from shipyard to sea.

Spectrum of the Seas Ship Fact file:

IMO: 9778856

Hull No: S700

Class: Quantum Ultra

Building Cost: EUR 750 million (USD 940 million)

Ordered: May 2015

Keel laid 8th November 2017

Float out 25th February 2019

Flag: Bahamas

Gross Tonnage: 168,800

Length: 348m

Width: 49m (max)

No of decks: 18 (16 passenger accessible)

Capacity: 4,905 (max occupancy)